Figgy Figgy Figgy Can’t You See?

We have reached a critical place regarding consumption of a certain item in our home. Like either our daughters get to go to college or we eat fig bars.

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We buy these bad boys in bulk and, no matter how many I purchase, they only last a few days. They are perfectly soft, just the right amount of dense. They hold together well when, say, tossed in the bottom of a purse or sat on while in a car seat. And this mama feels great when her kids eat them by the fistful because they are fruit juice sweetened and made with whole grains.

One day Margot and Ruby each ate a bar while we shopped so at checkout I pulled two bars out to be weighed twice so we could pay for the consumed gold nuggets. $1.08 (to be fair they are almost twice as big as a fig newton-type bar, they cost $6/pound). Fifty cents per bar?! I couldn’t believe it. Our fig bar dependence was out of hand.

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I found several recipes online but none satisfied my vision: easy, fast, healthy, hearty. There was easy and sugary, there was healthy and four-hour-affair. So, I tweaked and combined and hoped. And! And, they are really, really good.

Fig Apricot Bars

crust:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup ground flax seed
dash ground nutmeg and ground cloves
1 stick salted butter cold
1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

filling:
2 cups dried figs
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 cups juice (we used carrot-orange but I think any 100% juice would work great)
1 cup water

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until tiny pebbles.

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Mix eggs, milk and honey with a fork in a separate bowl. Add wet to dry and mix into a dough. Get your hands in there and make into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so. While dough is chilling, cook figs, apricots, juice and water over low heat until soft and thick, most of juice absorbed (I forgot to time this…maybe like 20 minutes?). Purée in a food processor. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After an hour, pull dough out, divide in two and knead about 10 times to make pliable. Sprinkle flour on work surface and roll out half.

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Place on prepared baking sheet (we use a stone so I don’t have to grease but I am not sure if you might need to on a metal tray? Probably a good idea…). Spread figgy mixture. Knead and roll out other half and place on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and cut up!

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Alice patiently waits for the bars to cook. 
A few things:
  • I think half whole milk yogurt/half butter would work well. We were out of yogurt or I would have tried that.
  • I do wish the crust was a bit thinner and less bready (although my family disagrees). I rolled mine like a pie crust. Go skinnier if you’d like.
  • We had about 1/2 cup extra filling. It was delicious in oatmeal. You could def spread it all on there if you want more or eliminate a bit of the dried fruit.

Are you dying to know how much money this saves? I will tell you! I made three pounds of delicious, organic fig-apricot bars for about $6. That’s $2 per pound. Success! It’s like a cookie but also like an energy bar. It’s breakfast, it’s a snack, it’s dessert. It’s off the hook, I tell you.

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Does your family have a favorite go-to nosh item? Would love some ideas and recipes.

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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

56 Responses to Figgy Figgy Figgy Can’t You See?

  1. Michael says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Mary-Cate says:

    That looks scrumptious! I will have to try this out! Thanks for the recipe (I love saving money!) xx

  3. Melinda says:

    My son was allergic to diary as an infant and he hated eggs so I struggled with getting protein into his system. These did the trick! Homemade protein bars (http://www.soyfoods.com/SoyProteinRecipes2002.html third recipe down on page). I replaced soynut butter with almond butter and threw in a small amount of dark choc. chips and dried cranberries. The hubs loved having them for snacks on mtn. bike rides and while out hunting. Plus much cheaper than store bought! Thanks for your recipe…hope to make it soon!

  4. Freestone says:

    Ladies and Gents, she has done it again! Three cheers for economic fig bars… I buy them in the bulk section and our household goes through them so quickly, too!

  5. Julie says:

    Granola – Most of my family doesn’t like it with fruit (raisins, etc – I know, crazy) so it is just nuts, oats, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon…and bake – for a long time. My daughter’s roommate asked her today where she got it because it was the best she had ever had. (she doesn’t like fruit in her’s either) I do like fruit so I have a container of chopped up stuff that I throw into my bowl with milk or yogurt or whatever.

  6. So good to know about these bars you’re making! We go through one package of Newman’s Own fig bars a week {still far, far cheaper than the ones you were buying in bulk}. I’ll give your recipe a go this weekend ~ I’d rather make them homemade.
    My boys {including the big one!}~ eat 2-3 boxes of Kashi cereal bars a week…that and yogurt which I’ve started making homemade are two things we go through a lot of around here.

    Happy Weekend!
    ps…glad to hear all is well over there. xo

  7. I see these in the Good Food Store all the time and really want to try them, but the price always put me off. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  8. Katie,
    Pounds would have been a much more accurate measure for comparison but I can’t remember how much per pound those bars are….but! But they aren’t much more than the Newman’s Own. I have compared. The bulk bars are about twice the size. I added that into my post to be more clear! ALSO, I almost started writing about our yogurt addiction but then realized that’s a whole other thing. We eat so much yogurt and I plan to start making it here really soon.

    Melinda, Those protein bars look great! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Seeing your reference to yogurt, I thought I’d pass this along. The Frugal Girl is another blog I read & she makes her own yogurt: http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2009/10/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-2/

  10. This is great! Can’t wait to try your figgy goodness as well as the protein bars! I was making granola frequently, too, but find bars more portable. Plus, my boy really loves helping out and picking what we put into the mix. We are digging these super flexible granola bars –
    mix up the wets: 1 egg, 1/2 c. oil, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 c. maple syrup (or honey or agave), 1/4 c. ground flax

    add in the drys: 1/4 c. wheat germ, scant tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 2 c. rolled oats

    add in any combination of the “extras” to make up 1 cup (more or less): coconut, chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips [we usually do 1/4 c. coconut, 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 1/4 c. raisins, 1/2 c. slivered almonds]

    grease a 9X13, press mixture into it, bake at 350 for 30 mins. cool 5 mins, then cut into bars and cool.

    Oh, and ho-made yo is sooooo easy and yummy and CHEAP! Give it a try! You won’t look back!

  11. Whitney says:

    Ummm, the title of this post instantly transported me back to Freshman year of college. My eighteen year old self and I thank you for the flashback!

    The bars look fab and the girls are gorgeous, as usual.

  12. K says:

    These look wonderful, well done!
    Two of my kids are at the University and both wanted a replacement for cookies so I’ve been baking these granola bars for their care packages. They love them! I like them too as an easy breakfast and their dad can polish off half the pan in an evening…so we have success!
    Ingredients:
    4 1/2 cups rolled oats
    1 cup whole wheat or white flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup honey
    add 2 cups of dried fruit-I like to add a little chopped chocolate :)

    I mix it all together and then press into a 9×13 buttered baking pan. Bake at 325 for 18 minutes. These cool quickly, about 10 minutes. So good.

  13. Gramomster says:

    We have no go-to nosh food that is home-made, sadly. We always say, we gotta start doing that! But A) it’s hard to keep up with these boys! and B) Jim keeps showing up with chips and sour cream.
    BUT!
    OMG you women are amazing!!!! I’m making ALL of these things!
    We love the fig bars… never get them, go too fast, too expensive.
    Go through huge buckets of yogurt. Although a giant tub of High Mountain plain, natural yogurt from Costco is 4.00, so, ya know… I’ll probably try making it at some point, but I have a large serving platter full of projects at the mo. On the list it goes!

    And oh! How I envy your counter space! I would love love love to have more than a 3 foot length, or something that didn’t back to a wall, or… It’s really hard to find way for Connor to help with us in the same room. LOL! “Here, honey! Take this in the other room and stir it for Gramma!”

  14. Healthy Rice Krsipy Treats:
    4 cups unsweetened puffed rice cereal or Organic Koahla crisp if you feel extravagant.
    3/4 c. brown rice syrup
    1/4 c. peanut butter
    1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
    Heat syrup, extract and butter til blended. Pour over cereal and mix until coated. press into prepared ban and chill before serving.
    *1/4 c. chocolate chips if you really gotta have them can be added!

  15. tad says:

    ohhhh….won’t the little ones be excited.

    here’s a spinach hideaway i can get the little ‘uns to eat—especially if you pull out the “kepitch” for dip
    1/3 c chopped nuts (walnuts for omega 3, but cashew or pecan for little taste buds)
    16 oz cooked/drained spinach
    1 c. bread crumbs
    1 1/2 c grated cheese
    3 eggs.
    preheat to 375
    put it all in a bowl mix, add herbs as they’ll eat, form burgers and bake 25 minutes, flipping halfway thru.
    a stand by for lunch around here.

  16. These look amazing! I will definitely have to make them soon. Thanks for the recipe! Love the picture of alice in front of your awesome stove.

  17. T-Dubya says:

    “Figgy Figgy Figgy Can’t You See”

    Um, love me some Notorious BIG & love me some word play on Notorious BIG – well done.

    You are one hip mama! ;)

  18. I nearly went broke eating bulk fig bars in college. So now…very thankful for your recipe! I was *just* beginning to stress out over new snack ideas. Also, I’ve been wanting to try making yogurt too….

  19. Marti says:

    Um….I think I know what song will be stuck in my head the rest of the day….

    These look delicious, I’m going to try them so I can quit buying Fig Newtons

  20. Joanna says:

    We’ve been making glazed walnuts as a sweet treat lately. I think it’s one egg white, a little brown sugar or maple syrup, a pinch of cayenne, maybe a little salt. Mix in a lb or so of walnuts and spread on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, bake for 20 maybe 30 mins? let cool, and nosh! The kids really like them. They satisfy the sweet craving, and they are fairly healthy. Also, pretty cheap.

  21. Colleen says:

    Ooooh, I love this. The figgy bar recipe and then all the follow-up posts. I will be trying a few of these out this weekend.

    Thanks for starting the conversation. This is awesome.

  22. me says:

    awesome, thanks for tweaking and posting! My husband will love this–he’s especially nuts for fig bars– and we have a little one who’ll love them too.

  23. I am soooo making these. They remind me of ones I used to get at a little open air fruit and veggie market in the city. My family will love them. Our go to home made besides cookies…is probably the jar of granola that sits on the counter. It’s a Williams-Sonoma recipe and….good.

  24. Brandi says:

    Thank you so much for this post and for encouraging others reply with suggestions. I’m getting so many great ideas. :)

  25. TRB Holt says:

    YUM….can’t wait to try them!!!!
    xoxo….me

  26. Yum! I can’t wait to give these babies a go :)
    Thanks!
    xo

  27. *love* your title, Alice waiting, Ruby mixing, Margot rolling. Yummy. Will try tomorrow. (lips licking)

  28. Minnesotagal says:

    Oh my goodness – yummm!! Can’t wait to make this – how delish! Our take-along snack of choice is dates. My son devours them by the fist full! He even has a favorite variety – Bahri dates. It’s great because there’s almost no prep – just removing the pits before he scarfs them down. I think might try making the fig bars with dates for him.

  29. Angie says:

    sometimes your words just hypnotize me.

  30. What a great recipe!! I made these tonight and my VERY picky eater loved them. My question is, should I refrigerate them? What do you do? Thanks

  31. debbratton says:

    Yum, yum, send a couple with Elise so I can have a bite! Worried about Ruby up there on the counter. They can be so quick. Just a grandma talking here!

  32. megsplegs says:

    ok, seriously w/the title of your post! you crack me up, diggy!
    fig bars look delish & i can’t wait to test them out on my 6 kids for an after-school snack this week. love the pic of sweet ruby on your kitchen countertop helping w/the recipe. :)

  33. The Viehweg’s: We didn’t refrigerate them. We stored them in lidded containers (mason jars) and it worked well. Glad you love them!

    Aunt Deb: I actually thought of you when I posted that photo…I knew it would make you nervous! That’s where Ruby hangs while I cook. She sits right next to me on the counter and Margot on her stool. She feels too left out on my back or in her high chair. And, promise, she’s safe. She is very used to it and I am always there, usually with an arm around her. xo

  34. I will admit that my baking is on the general level of evil instead of wholesome. I use natural ingredients, but they seem to be a bit naughty and fattening when sugar and butter combine. :)

    It’s been a long weekend with wonderful friends and our first sail of the season. I will need to think about a recipe, and of course add the ingredients to your bar to my shopping list. Thank you so much for sharing!! I’m always excited to exchange recipes.

    Peace,

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  35. Dakota says:

    Mmmmmm….how about adding a bit a peanut butter to the crumbly crust part????? Kind of like a gourmet pb and j. My crew is going to love these treats!

  36. Kelli says:

    I make similar bars to these but with dates instead of figs. They are yummy if you ever want to try it with a different fruit!

    I’m going to have to try your version too, they look delicious.

  37. rebecca says:

    ,,,i love all things “figgy” one day i shall try your recipe, thanks for sharing,,,as much a i love fig newtons i really prefer to have homemade goodies if i’m going to indulge in something sweet ‘n sinful,,,(smile)

  38. elizabeth says:

    I have everything to make these except flax, is the flax optional or neccessary?

  39. Elizabeth, the flax is optional. If the dough is too wet you could just add a bit of flour or cornmeal.

  40. Donna says:

    oh my! I was just looking at what my son should be consuming and realized that while we are god on the fruit, he really doesn’t eat enough grain (who ever met a 19 month old who doesn’t like pasta??) Anyway, this looks like its right up his alley!
    Don’t have any go to recipes but I did remember that I could make a pretty good frittata out of the veggies I had laying around the fridge, some eggs and cheese. It was a good way to sneak some veggies into him!

  41. Liliana says:

    I’m dying for one right now. Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  42. Did you use dried apricots or fresh? I can’t wait to try these :)

  43. FinnyKnits says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…I love figs. I love fig bars. I love fig ANYTHING. I know we’d eat this if I made them so I will just have to find some time. Thanks for the awesome in-depth recipe.

  44. KatDale says:

    Yum!! Just made these and we are all in love!! I added brewers yeast and some oats into the dough and now it’s a kid and nursing mom snack!

    Thanks for the recipe! You are one hip mama!

  45. One word…Addicted. Making a second batch today. Thanks again.

  46. elizabeth says:

    Good! Makes a big batch-full sheet pan. Froze bars to take on trail runs. Replaced flax with wheat germ and brushed top with cream and sprinkled with raw sugar before baking. Thanks!

  47. elizabeth says:

    Forgot to add, like you, I would prefer less dough, maybe 1/4-1/3 less, but the filling amount was just right, I didn’t have 1/2 cup extra.

  48. j.j. says:

    oh yum!~ I am always go-to-ing your site for goodies. Made some playdough last week – so fun! These look great.

    take care! it’s been a while since i have checked in…hope all is well.

    hugs, jj

  49. tina says:

    finally making these ~ they’re in the oven right now! my 2-year-old had fun helping. a college friend of mine has a food blog and came up with a Lara-type bar recipe. i haven’t made them yet but since Laras are my go-to spendy healthy energy bar, i bet i can save even more $$. http://enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com/2008/02/home-made-lara-bars-energy-bars-part-3.html

    and just because i love figs so much, here’s a link to They Draw and Cook, where they just had a fig recipe contest. great ideas wonderfully illustrated (fyi sometimes the recipes are pretty but not thorough) http://www.theydrawandcook.com/search/perform?utf8=✓&keyword=&tag_names%5B%5D=2011+Fig+Contest

    eek i never comment, and this is long! figgy love made me do it.

  50. Kate says:

    I just made these for the first time this morning…success! My 14 mo old boycotts all things bready and cannot abide jam – so I thought I’d try but expect a boycott. She inhaled one, saying “mmmm” with every bite. It actually made me tear up ’cause I cannot count the various things I’ve made that’ve been spat out and smeared around and dropped over the edge of the highchair!

    I didn’t have any apricots, so chopped up a fresh apple and threw it in with the figs. Used apple juice for the liquid. Delicious! And not cloyingly sweet like most fig bars. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  51. Katie says:

    I’ve never posted before but I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I made these last weekend and I just had to post and finally introduce myself:)

    I have an 18mo. old and we all devoured them, these were so good and I loved making something delicous and healthy and boy are they cheaper than the store bought ones. Thanks for sharing the receipe. I’m off to go make your bran muffins now:)

  52. Jill says:

    We love these bars at our house-thanks for the awesome recipe! I use a combo of dried prunes, apricots, and craisins. I also used 100% apple juice or apple cider. So good and good for you! My 3 year old gobbles them up!

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